$10 million in grants now available to reuse mined land and help revitalize coal-impacted Alabama communities

On January 6, 2020, Alabama‘s Secretary of Labor, Fitzgerald Washington, announced that the Alabama Department of Labor’s Abandoned Mine Land Program (ADOL AML) had started taking applications for a third round of $10 million in grant funding available for AML related economic development projects.

The ADOL AML Reclamation Program has long made a significant impact on protecting the safety of the citizens of Alabama, and these new Pilot Program funds are providing opportunities to transform abandoned mine lands into doorways of economic opportunity for the future. It is rewarding to see so many worthy projects get funding so that they can be an important lasting part of the economic rebuilding of the Coal Region of Alabama,” said Washington.

I again encourage any group who has a plan to develop an abandoned mine land site to apply for this grant funding. Whether the project is big or small, they’re all important,” he added.

The economic development projects must be located on or adjacent to coal mine sites that ceased operations prior to the signing of the Surface Mine Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) on August 3, 1977. Counties eligible for projects include: Bibb, Blount, Cherokee, Cullman, DeKalb, Etowah, Fayette, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Lamar, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Shelby, St. Clair, Tuscaloosa, Walker, and Winston.

Since 2017, three projects have received a total of $10 million dollars in grant funding through this program. Those projects are in Jefferson and Shelby counties and include the Southern Museum of Flight’s relocation to the Grand River Technology Park situated near Barber Motorsports and The Bass Pro Shop near Leeds, Alabama, a commercial and residential development in Helena, Alabama and the expansion of the City of Vestavia Hills, Alabama’s Sicard Hollow Athletic Complex.

These three projects are expected to provide approximately 1695 new jobs and generate and economic impact of $152.1 million dollars. Applications for an additional $10 million dollars made available in 2018 are currently under review by OSMRE.

The grant funding, provided by the federal government, is being administered by ADOL AML and all funding must be approved by the OSMRE. The Alabama Department of Labor / The Alabama Career Center System is a partner in Alabama Works, Alabama’s unified workforce system.

Applications will be accepted from January 6, 2020 through April 6, 2020. Applications received after close of business (4:00 PM CST) April 6, 2020 will not be considered.

Pilot Program Guidance/Requirements from the US Department of the Interior’s Office of Surface Mining, Reclamation, and Enforcement (OSMRE), and Grant Applications from ADOL AML, which contain additional information on the grant funding, can be found on the ADOL AML website (located beneath the AMLPILOT banner).

You can also call or email Dustin Morin, State Mine Land Reclamation Supervisor, 4351 Crescent Road Irondale, AL 35210. Phone: 205-945-8671 FAX: 205-945-8685 Email: dustin.morin@labor.alabama.gov.

Photo courtesy of the Alabama Alabama Department of Labor.

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